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The Hard Way: (Jack Reacher 10) [Paperback]

Lee Child
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Jan 2011 Jack Reacher (Book 10)

Featuring Jack Reacher, hero of the new blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise, as he comes to the UK.

Jack Reacher is alone, the way he likes it.

He watches a man cross a New York street and drive away in a Mercedes. The car contains $1 million of ransom money. Reacher's job is to make sure it all turns out right - money paid, family safely returned.

But Reacher is in the middle of a nasty little war where nothing is simple.

What started on a busy New York street explodes three thousand miles away, in the sleepy English countryside.

Reacher's going to have to do this one the hard way.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (6 Jan 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0857500139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857500137
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee Child is one of the world's leading thriller writers.His novels consistently achieve the number one slot in hardback and paperback on bestsellers lists on both sides of the Atlantic, and are translated into over forty languages.His debut novel, Killing Floor, was written after he was made redundant from his television job in Manchester, and introduced his much-admired maverick hero, the former military cop Jack Reacher.Born in Coventry, he now lives in America.

Photography © Johnny Ring

Product Description

Amazon Review

The ‘surprise’ factor when reading the thrillers of Lee Child has, it must be admitted, vanished. Most readers who pick up the new book, The Hard Way, will be well aware that this extremely American narrative is, in fact, written by an Englishman. The days when early readers of Child (notably his American fans) would exclaim how amazing it was that Child got all the cultural reference points correct are long gone. And, in a way, that's not a bad thing--now we can judge the novels purely on their own terms. And if The Hard Way doesn't initially appear to be quite as impressive as its predecessors, that's not to say that it isn't a supremely assured piece of work.

Child's durable hero is, of course, ex-soldier Jack Reacher. Child's publishers claim 'men want to be him--women want to have him', and there's no denying that’s a considerable part of Reacher’s appeal. His footloose lifestyle and handy way with the trouble that he’s always encountering are handled by Child with great panache. In some ways, Reacher is the perfect existential hero: he owns nothing or no-one, and he is, in his turn, owned by nothing or no one. He is defined by the actions he undertakes--and that definition only lasts as long as the problem he is involved with. This one has an even wider range than usual, starting on a busy New York thoroughfare and moving to a violent finale across the Atlantic in the sylvan depths of the English countryside, with Jack up against some very dangerous opponents. Interestingly, Child’s publishers describe Jack Reacher in this novel as ‘invincible’, and (ironically) they put their finger on an interesting point in this latest entry. While Jack has always been supremely capable, earlier books have always had a genuine sense of danger--how the hell would Jack get himself out of the latest lethal situation? Here, the outcome seems less in doubt. But this is a minor quibble--Child could not write a bad book if he tried, and all the narrative momentum that propelled the earlier Reacher adventures is satisfyingly in evidence in his latest outing.
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Reacher, who has long since gained mythical status, is human after all ... This is storytelling of the highest order: lean, laconic, laced with tension" (Evening Standard)

"The invincible Reacher is as irresistible as ever" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Child is a consummate thriller writer: his prose is trim but descriptive, his plots believable, fresh and positively airtight, and shows himself a master of misdirection" (Time Out)

"Lee Child is often mistaken for a US writer, so skilfully and enthusiastically has he embraced the idiom of the American thriller ... One of the genre's finest practitioners" (Independent)

"Another cracking teeth-chatterer" (Daily Mail)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it 1 Aug 2006
To be honest after reading some of the reviews here I was a bit wary of buying this in hardback. Fortunately I was pleasantly suprised. The last couple of Reacher's haven't exactly blown me away and I was quite unimpressed by "One Shot", but "The Hard Way" is a distinct improvement. The kidnap (or is it?) plot works well and kept me guessing to the end. Equally the body count is pretty low, but as Reacher has probably killed a couple of hundred people in his past adventures (about the same number as Britain lost in the Falklands war!) it adds a bit of realism to the book.

I have to agree with certain other reviewers that "the Hard way" lacks the sense of danger thats been so strong in the early books. The best by far was "Killing floor" especially the scene where 4 masked killers dressed entirely in white disposable jumpsuits hunted Reacher through the driving rain. A bit more of this in this book would have been very welcome.

All in all this latest installment in Reacher's adventures is well worth reading- hopefully Lee Child can bring back some of the excitement of his first books for his next Reacher!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the hardest way 28 July 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is a testament to Lee Child's skill that despite this not being one of Reacher's best adventures, I still couldn't put the book down and finished it within 2 days.

The novel's opening gambit, a hook upon which the rest of the novel hangs is unfortunately quite flimsy. Not to give too much away, but in order to get the ball rolling Child has Reacher act in a way that will have regular readers scratching their heads; an action which is so out of character, the reader assumes it will be explained in some clever plot twist later on. But it isn't, and as such is an unusually weak opening.

Once over this little hiccup however, the novel trundles along nicely leading to a customarily understated finale. Other reviews have pointed to this being one of the more violent of Reacher's novels. I have to say I thought it was pretty tame compared to say, 'Persuader' or 'Without Fail', but no less powerful for that. Other reviews have also noted Child's now formulaic style as becoming stale. Again, I have to say this may have been true leading up to this novel, 'One Shot' for instance was disappointing in its format and predictable pace, but I found the Hard Way refreshingly different.

Indeed, Child shows a rare descriptive elegance, stepping outside his comfort zone of dusty rural Americana to deal with a shiny, frantic New York, satiric London and the comatose Norfolk countryside with consummate flair and no little amount of humour. Being a Brit who has mastered the American novel, it was a real pleasure to see him turn his eye to his native country, picking up subtle idiosyncrasies that are all the more amusing for knowing this is his real home-town.

Not his best, but still a great read from a very talented writer.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Reacher strikes again 15 April 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lee Child is by any standards an extremely accomplished novelist, and his 'Jack Reacher' books deliver consistent excitement and thrills. This book was perhaps a little more far-fetched than some of his other novels, but the plot has some interesting and unexpected twists, and some of the images he conjured up are with me still.

As always, Reacher solves the problems in his own inimitable fashion, and the book is an entertaining and enjoyable read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Character, A Good Read 14 May 2006
Having followed Jack Reacher from the beginning, I was starting to worry that Lee Child was sticking a little too closely to formula. Don't get me wrong...I'm a big fan and I love the character, but the denouement of Persuader and the showdown in One Shot share a lot of similarities. While The Hard Way once again follows a similar pattern, the story had enough different angles to keep me entertained, and I couldn't put it down. Hopefully with the next book, however, we'll see Reacher thrown into a less familiar situation, forcing him to handle things a little differently.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same ole same ole from Child 31 Jan 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Several years ago now, Lee Child (an English writer living in the US) developed Jack Reacher as the central character for his books. He's a former military policeman who 'went all Kung Fu' and decided to 'walk the Earth' after leaving the army (for want of a better description).

In the books, Child deposits Reacher in different situations across the US and it's up to Reacher to solve crime local to where he ends up. In this book, he comes across a husband whose wife has been kidnapped. Unfortunately for the guy, this isn't the first wife to whom this has happened, and as a result, Reacher decides to investigate the kidnapping (as much to satisfy his curiosity as to what is going on as anything else).

It wasn't a bad book, but I've read a number of his books now and they're starting to feel a little samey. If you want that, you will probably like this book. If you don't, you'd probably do better to look elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars With a mirror on a stick 12 Jan 2007
Jack Reacher is my very favorite fictional Tough Guy action figure. He could probably get Iraq squared-away single-handed. Unfortunately, his creator, Lee Child, seems to be giving him R&R for most of THE HARD WAY.

Ex-Army Military Police major Reacher, now demobbed from the service with the end of the Cold War and on the lam from a normal existence, is in New York City. Here, he becomes employed by the head of a mercenary-for-hire company, Edward Lane, to investigate the kidnapping of the latter's wife, Kate, and young daughter, Jade. Over the course of the first few chapters, $10.5 million are paid out in several installments, but with no return of the hostages. Kate and Jade are presumed dead, and Edward wants revenge. Jack's new instructions are to find the perp, at the conclusion of which Reacher will be paid $1 million. Complications arise when Jack discovers that Lane's previous wife, Anne, was also kidnapped and subsequently found dead. Anne's sister is convinced Edward was behind Anne's murder, as does ex-FBI agent Lauren Pauling, who's residual guilt from not having solved the first case compels her to team with Reacher on this one.

It isn't until page 342 of this 371-page book that Jack swings into action by breaking the gun arms of three bad guys with an iron fire poker. Up until then, Reacher is non-violently investigating, with a periodic time-out for sack time with the engaging Pauling. The book might as well be entitled JACK'S WORKING VACATION, and the role of Reacher himself could be filled by any world-weary police detective or private eye that's been featured in any other fictional series that you've ever read.
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